A Healthy and Colorful Wild Blueberry Twist on Traditional Pasta Salad
I just love a good pasta salad. There’s something about eating chilled pasta that takes away the heaviness and makes it light and refreshing. And there’s really no better time than the spring to enjoy a pasta salad. It’s the perfect way to highlight the best of what spring has to offer. I love the first taste of asparagus, artichokes, spring peas, and delicate greens.
Cold pasta salads are a favorite in my house. My husband gets excited whenever he gets to eat pasta of any kind, but he gets extra happy when I create a tasty pasta salad for lunch. For him, pasta salad doesn’t register on the indulgence scale like a big bowl of pasta with sauce does. I think it’s mostly because the pasta is not really the focus. It’s the tasty mix of vegetables, cheese, and fruit that really makes the dish.
This pasta salad is extra special not only because it’s light and refreshing but because it’s purple. Yes, thanks to one cup of gorgeous Wild Blueberries, this salad takes on a striking and unforgettable dimension! In fact, I love adding Wild Blueberries to any salad because they bring a freshness, color, and intense flavor that can’t be matched.
Let’s talk a little about how to get that glorious purple color. I let the frozen Wild Blueberries thaw for about 10 minutes so they release some of their natural juices. Then I stir the berries into the pasta salad and watch as they paint the whole dish a beautiful purple hue. For this pasta I also snuck in a ton of fiber by using whole grain Orecchiette. I say “snuck” because my husband is not a big fan of whole grain pasta. He just sees the box and starts to give me that look. Because I stirred in a cup of frozen fresh Wild Blueberries, not only did he scarf down his bowl with no complaints, he commented on how cool it was to eat purple pasta.
The Orecchiette was also a perfect fit because the English peas and Wild Blueberries naturally fall right into the “little ears” of the pasta. If you can’t find those, the shell style pasta will work great, too! Any spring veggie can accompany this dish, as would your favorite microgreen. For the cheese, I chose a “drunken goat cheese” for its tangy flavor and because it would hold up well being tossed around in the pasta.
This dish is sure to please all summer long. It’s antioxidant rich, high in fiber and flavor, and pretty to look at!